February TBR Additions 2020

Hello again all you fine people. I am here as promised to bring you my February TBR Additions 2020. Perhaps you’ve already read my January TBR Additions list also posted this week (well Sunday). That was a really long list and I thank you for reading it. If you haven’t, know that even though it’s very long it’s also really interesting because the books are quite varied, in my humble opinion that is. This list is not short – there’s 16 books – but it’s not as long as that one (26 books). ***It’s not 20 books because I added four just before midnight. Here I thought it was the 1st already. πŸ˜‰

As always, I thank you for riding along and sharing any thoughts you might have of this list. Do not be afraid – do be kind and respectful – to tell me if you think a book is bad or yuck it doesn’t appeal to you. You will not hurt my feelings. In fact I’d be interested in picking your brain about the matter assuming such a discussion can be done without spoilers. πŸ˜‰ That said, let’s get to it!

  • The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood – fiction, dystopia
    • I love the podcast The Garrett, hosted by Astrid Edwards. It’s an Australian based podcast. She interviews so many interesting authors, diverse authors, and they’re really good interviews. Astrid, you’re great. I recommend this podcast for sure. Recently I heard the interview with Charlotte Wood and actually made a note, I believe I was waiting in line at the grocery store and added it on Goodreads right there. πŸ˜‰ I think that’s a beautiful cover too.
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  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara – fiction, mystery
    • I discovered this book thanks to an NPR interview. The author, a journalist, was talking about the outrageous fact that in India 150 children go missing A DAY. The vast majority of these young people are forced into some kind of labor, like working in people’s homes and sex work among others. She said it’s not well reported on or managed so she decided to write a novel about it, her debut in fiction. Her protagonist is a young boy. She chose a child so as to take the edge off the story from time to time.
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  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – mystery, thriller
    • I think this is the first in a long time for which I can say I heard of from another person in person! Lol. I was at a family member’s birthday party when I got to chatting with an older woman I’d just met. She told me her book club read this book (a debut novel) and loved it. She said they were split down the middle in terms of predicting how it ended.
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  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner – classics, fiction
    • I found that my grandmother and/or great-grandmother (don’t know whose copy it was) had an old copy of this book and well, it appeals to me so I think I’ll give it a shot, one day. πŸ˜‰
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  • Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon – poetry, photography, fiction
    • I think it was thanks to Carrot Ranch and a blog tour? Oh shoot I’m sorry I didn’t put this information in my notes. But this is a new a poetry, prose and photography collection by Indie author M.J. Mallon. Interestingly enough my poetry has photography mixed throughout it but no prose, however we clearly have similar interests in that respect. Anywho, I’m excited to be able to support a fellow Indie Author.
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  • Can You See Me? by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott – children’s middle grade, contemporary
    • C.G. Drews (author and blogger) over at Paper Fury talks about this book in one of her latest posts. The blurb on Goodreads says this book is for fans of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. While I haven’t read Wonder I’m interested in reading this “coming-of-age story about learning to celebrate yourself…”. Ann M. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Rain Reign said, “This glimpse into the world of a young autistic girl is astonishingly insightful and honest. Tally’s struggles to ‘fit in’ are heart-wrenching, and her victories are glorious.” This is fiction but it is own-voice in that Libby Scott is a young autistic author and this story is inspired by her experiences.
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  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss, narrated by Nick Podehl – Audible Audio edition – fantasy
    • So this is kind of a funny story. I told you before that Audible just had a sale on many series; each book in the respective series was marked down. I saw this and believed it was one I’d added to my TBR this year. I know I’ve heard of this before and it’s hugely popular. This series has two books and they’re long, so good candidates for Audible books I thought.
    • Low and behold, this series was not already on my TBR; I was somehow confusing it with The Lies of Locke Lamora I’d heard of from Inside my Library Mind and SilverWolfReads in January. Lol, well they’re added now!
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  • The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick Rothfuss, narrated by Nick Podehl – Audible Audio edition – fantasy, epic fantasy
    • The sequel to the above book. The one downside and/or upside depending how you see it, to Audible editions is I wind up reading/listening to books I wouldn’t otherwise have picked up so soon. But hey this book has 392,856 ratings on Goodreads with a 4.57 star rating. It was published in 2011. Wow!
    • AND Nnedi Okorafor, an author I follow, the woman who wrote Binti, speaks highly of this series on Goodreads. πŸ˜‰
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  • The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons, #2) by Jenny Lyons – epic fantasy
    • Okay, so, I’m listening to this book on Audible right now and IT’S AWESOME. It’s really long, certainly an epic like Lord of the Rings but well worth the time. Here’s the thing, I did not know this was a series! Last night I was just browsing browsing, clicked on Jenn Lyons and there you go, there’s more! Then I saw there’s actually a third!!! Wow. So I don’t know that the Audible version is available for the 2nd as it just came out October 2019 but I’ll keep an eye out.
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Wow, okay that’s it. Phew! Twenty-six books added in January and 20 added in February bringing my Goodreads’ TBR to 336! Holy moly, I think I need to slow down on adding books but then how will I remember new finds? Maybe I need to cull my list as many other bloggers have, at least review it to see if I’m really still interested in all these books. God knows I don’t have the time to get through all the books I want, especially not with my own novel on the fire! What do you think about this list?

And as I said in my January TBR Additions 2020 post:

It’s super important to me to give credit where credit’s due. So I try to make a point to take notes when I’m reading other people’s blogs or listening to podcasts (I’m not as good with the latter). Whenever I actually do take notes, be it NPR interviews, blogs, podcasts, talking to people, I will certainly mention it when I mention my interest in the book (assuming I find the notes πŸ˜‰ ). It’s really a great practice to tip your hat to others and their efforts to spread the word about books they like. Not only does it help the authors of these books, but it also helps other bloggers and podcasters. So I ask humbly please, if you discover books thanks to my blog – lists like this one – that you give me a little shout out. Thanks in advance!

January TBR Additions

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Well how are you today? Not too shabby over here. I’m working on blog stuff so I’m in a happy place. Reading is a funny thing you know? But even more so is the hobby of collecting books. I’ve always loved the idea of collecting things although admittedly I’m not such a good collector. Of course it comes as no surprise that it started in childhood with toys (My Little Pony, Breyer Horses, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pocket, Marvel collector cards, the list goes on). I didn’t have grand collections of all these things (I wished!) but I LOVED looking at the catalogues of all the toys that were out there and the new stuff, gah, so wonderful.

When it comes to books I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a collector. I guess you might say I am because I don’t exactly get rid of books I’ve read, and I’ve got a boat load of old books from relatives. Compared to other book bloggers though and what I’ve read in their posts, I am not a book collector. Hats off to you who love your various editions – lots of people collect multiple copies of books that are each a different edition – but I can’t wrap my head around having more than one copy of a book. Alas, I get it, I feel the love you have for your collections. I once had a fabulous collection of Orchids (most died from brown rot) and I will slowly but surely rebuild for I am at heart an Orchid collector.

Anyways, I shall move on with this post and get to the point. While I might not be a true book collector, I do love me some TBR action! I like discovering new books and adding them to my TBR. Then I like going through my TBR and seeing all the covers; it’s like a mini version of going to a bookstore or the library and seeing all THOSE BOOKS! It goes without saying, TBR posts can be fun to create (sometimes daunting too). My question to whomever is reading this, do you enjoy TBR posts? Do you enjoy seeing what other book blogger/reader people are interested in reading?

Last time I left you guys with a three part TBR additions post (Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, Part 3 HERE). That encompassed Fall & Winter additions since I was behind. I’ll admit I was a little burned out after those posts so I’m behind again, but it’s all good. Today I bring to you: January TBR Additions.

***As I was building this post I realized what I kind of already knew/remembered, that this is going to be really long. Therefore, February TBR Additions will be its own post following on the heels of this one for January. But read on because there’s loads of different books here you might not have seen elsewhere and plenty you have. The book’s title is linked to the book’s Goodreads’ page (for more information).

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January TBR Additions

  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – Audible Audio edition, narrated by Trevor Noah – non-fiction/memoir
    • I first heard of Trevor Noah as many of us did, when it was announced he was taking over The Daily Show for Jon Stewart. I’ve since become a fan (not that I watch the show much). What tipped me to the book was an interview with him on NPR. And of course the audio version sounds great since he’s the narrator, talk about own voices.
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  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – Audible Audio edition, narrated by Joe Morton – fiction, historical fiction, magical realism
    • Honestly, I can’t recall the first time I heard of this book but I’m pretty sure it was through a podcast. Since then I’ve heard about it all over the place, including Oprah. I’m going for Audible version because it’s a book available through it.
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  • No Walls and the Recurring Dream by Ani DiFranco – Audible Audio edition, narrated by Ani DiFranco – non-fiction/memoir
    • I used to listen to folk singer Ani DiFranco quite a bit, over 10 years ago. I fell off mainly because my life changed, my directions changed. Recently I’ve gone back to some of her songs (like Little Plastic Castle). But I saw mention of her new book in an article, maybe newspaper (?), and thought it sounded interesting. And of course seeing it on Audible narrated by herself, I had to go that route. Cool cover, ironically similar to the last.
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  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews – contemporary, YA
    • SilverWolfReads mentioned The Boy Who Steals Houses in her post HERE. She raved about this author so I had to at least look into C.G. Drews. I’m not sure I want to read The Boy Who Steals Houses but I’m intrigued and going to check this one out.
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  • Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo – Fantasy
    • Another appealing book thanks to SilverWolfReads. We might do a buddy read one of these days, not for this one but something. She mentioned it to me recently and I must get back to her. I’ve never done any buddy reads (well I did with my great-aunt), but I think it’d be fun. πŸ˜€
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  • The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1) by Rin Chupeco – Fantasy, YA
    • Yup another one thanks to SilverWolfReads. I was thinking maybe I’d read back through blurbs for all these books and remind myself (so I can share with you) what interested me most about these books but do I have time? Ugh…I should do it first thing…perhaps next time, this list is long enough.
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  • Infinity Son (Infinity Cycle, #1) by Adam Silvera – Fantasy, YA
    • Yet another shout-out to SilverWolfReads at the aforementioned link. Yes these were all in one post of hers as well. I like this cover quite a bit too.
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  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Fantasy
    • Much like the previous book I added this after SilverWolfReads post but I’d heard of it many times before. Sometimes I stray away from popular books just because they’re popular. And I wasn’t immediately sold on it. Sounded cool but I have SO MANY books on my TBR. Well okay people are raving and raving, let’s do it. (And I just saw YouTube video by Destiny at Howling Libraries in which she mentions the sequel to this and how she has to get to it.)
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  • Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World, #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse – Audible Audio edition, narrated by Tanis Parenteau – fantasy, post-apocalyptic
    • I added this book because I listened to the first one – read my review of Trail of Lightning HERE – and LOVED it. Having listened to that I had to listen to this. But this is the book SilverWolfReads had picked up though she hadn’t read the first. I find myself putting off listening to this because…um, hm…I guess I feel like maybe it’s too soon to go right back and then have it be over! And sometimes it feels right to explore around since I know I’m coming back here.
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  • Dark Constellations by Pola Oloixarac, translated by Roy Kesey – fiction, sci-fi
    • This book and many that follow are more books I found thanks to LitHub’s The Bookseller’s Year in Reading Part 1-3. I’ve linked you to Part 1 and you can go from there. But my 2019 TBR New Additions Part 1-3 consist of a lot of books from this list (I also link you here to my own Part 1). What’s here is me finally finishing those articles. I’m excited that most of these books I’ve never heard of and they’re pretty representative, across genre, culture, geography and more. I might have to be more intentional in picking different books from my TBR (when the time comes).
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  • The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams – historical fiction
    • Fictionophile writes “Cover Love” posts in which she posts lists of books with regards to their covers. She directed me to some older versions of her posts and I found a bunch of books I really like. For example, she did a post about covers she liked that had birds…thus these that follow. By the way, I did read the blurb after I found the cover appealing and then added them. πŸ˜‰
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  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – historical fiction
    • Inside My Library Mind wrote an interesting post titled If You Liked This, Try This. And that’s where this book and few others come from. She said if you like this one (below) try Cala by Laura Legge. Well the latter didn’t interest me but this one did.
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  • Inkheart (Inkworld, #1) by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell – fantasy, YA
    • Here’s another book thanks to Inside My Library Mind’s post linked to above. This was one in which she says if you like this try The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Well I have already added the latter so, why not this one too? Though I’ve read neither. πŸ˜‰
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  • The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) by N.K. Jemisin – fantasy
    • Inside My Library Mind then wrote a post, 2020 TBR Backlist, and here she listed this gem. Mind you this is not the first I’ve heard of N.K. Jemisin, no she is mentioned all over the place. In fact, I just learned that she is the first author ever to win a HUGO award three years in a row and for books of the same series. Translation, all three of the books in this series won Hugo awards.
    • These books were just on sale, all three, at Audible. I so badly wanted to get them but Patrick Rothfus’ duology was also on sale, there’s two of those, they’re huge apparently and I can’t buy all five. I was tempted but I sighed and did the right thing and only bought the two Rothfus books. Plus I couldn’t decide if I should READ and see the words on the pages of N.K. Jemisin’s work.
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  • Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst – fantasy
    • You might recall that my review of Sarah Beth Durst’s last book, The Deepest Blue, was kind of harsh. I was disappointed, I’m sorry. But don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Sarah Beth Durst. I’m still hoping she keeps writing in the world she introduced us to in her series The Queens of Renthia. And her book Lost (not related to any of these) is fabulous; I was so sad to discover she will not be publishing the second but there’s a chance it’ll be made for TV. That said, this book is her latest adult fantasy, I think available April 2020, and it sounds awesome. Not to mention the cover is beautiful. I’m in!
    • Here’s a piece of the blurb from Goodreads: an imaginative new world in which a pair of strong and determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quest to become monster racing champions.
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  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – historical fiction
    • Yet another from Inside My Library Mind’s above post link. Colson Whitehead’s writing reputation precedes him and this book, meaning he’s another author I’ve heard a number of times.
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Oh my gosh we made it! You’re still here right? Phew, that’s great, thank you so much. What do you think? Have you or do you plan to read any of these? Will you now?

It’s super important to me to give credit where credit’s due. So I try to make a point to take notes when I’m reading other people’s blogs or listening to podcasts (I’m not as good with the latter). Whenever I actually do take notes, be it NPR interviews, blogs, podcasts, talking to people, I will certainly mention it when I mention my interest in the book (assuming I find the notes πŸ˜‰ ). It’s really a great practice to tip your hat to others and their efforts to spread the word about books they like. Not only does it help the authors of these books, but it also helps other bloggers and podcasters. So I ask humbly please, if you discover books thanks to my blog – lists like this one – that you give me a little shout out. Thanks in advance!

And thank you again and again for following along with this long post. I hope I was able to add to your list or poke your brain. I’d love to hear what you think. And stay tuned because I’m going to post February TBR Additions this week as well. πŸ˜€ Then we’ll be caught up!

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My Review of Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1) by Laini Taylor, narrated by Steve West

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Audible Audio edition

Info from Goodreads:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundβ€”and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteriesβ€”including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Audible Audio – Published March 28 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

My Review

Ok how do I rate this after being so conflicted at the beginning? Easy!!!

5/5 stars

I discovered this book thanks to SilverWolfReads and her giant book haul from her trip to NYC. I believe I added these in June 2019, you can find these additions in TBR New Additions Part 1. There are a whole host of other books I added to my TBR thanks to her blog, including Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse which I listened to before this book and loved. That moved a lot faster from the start and made it that much more difficult to survive Strange the Dreamer’s slow start. But thanks so much for sharing what you read!!!

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Funny thing is I’m listening to the last chapter as I write this or at least start writing this. That’s how impressed I am with where this story went and ended. Some endings can change how you feel about the whole story, be it book or movie. I saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and was all wrapped up in it until…the ending. Then I was pissed because I did not think it was a satisfying end to such a movie. This book however just kept getting better and better.

In my post Currently Reading (which will change as my reading does) in January/early February, you might have read that I was not enjoying the beginning of this book. Here’s what I said:

I’m in about Chapter 10 I think? So far I’m disappointed because this book is taking so long to be interesting. Lazlo, the main character (MC), really feels flat to me at this point. Given the number of roaring reviews I’ve discovered there to be (saw, didn’t read just glazed over a few) I have faith that this book improves but if I was given an ultimatum I’d be tempted to DNF this.

You know a book is taking too long to really grab you when you almost forget you’re actually supposed to be paying attention to what you’re listening to and you struggle to want to.

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I wish I could remember exactly what chapter it was that changed things for me. I know what happened in the story that did it but I don’t want to tell you anything more than what the summary from Goodreads does. My reviews will not contain any more of a summary than that because I don’t want to spoil the story. Some people like the standard review in which people provide their own summary, the kind we were taught in school. However, I have found that I don’t usually want to know too much more because I like the surprise of discovering the details myself. I know that people warn you if they’ll be spoilers but sometimes just knowing too much before you start is a spoiler, not unlike a movie trailer that shows you all the best parts of the movie.

For instance – the following example is made up and has nothing to do with this book – let’s say a summary tells you the story is about a mystical mountain covered in fog all year long except for two weeks in the summer. No one has visited the mountain ever since a hiking party of 10 disappeared save one individual who came back mute and blind. But then a small boy gets lost, last seen walking in his sleep towards the mountain. Who will brave the mystery to find him? Then let’s say I write a review that doesn’t “contain spoilers” per se, but I tell you that the people have rumored there’s a herd of magical ponies that live midway up and that’s what they’re afraid of. That might be a common detail but you wouldn’t have known until you read the story or someone’s review. I wouldn’t have minded discovering the ponies for myself like a fun little prize in my cereal box; I know it’s in there but if my brother gets it out and shows me, the surprise is done.

That said how I feel about the book now does not change how I feel about the beginning. Don’t like, not gonna like it but this story is a testament to the power of word of mouth. Were I any less patient with books, quicker to DNF I would have quit this early on. But I can thank all you lovely fellow readers out there for letting us know it gets better because HECK YEAH it does!

It took a long time for me to get into Lazlo as well. I still think he kind of feels flat, not the most dynamic and fleshed out of characters, in my humble opinion but he grew on me. There are other characters that appeal to me and appeal to me more. But I can almost promise you (almost because I don’t know you so I could be wrong) that once this story gets going you’ll find it hard to resist.

I respect Laini Taylor’s creativity and imagination. This book could do without a lot of the information – IMHO – especially in the beginning but the story (I think I’ve said that enough) as a whole is emotionally intense and magical with themes true to real life. You might start off uninterested or less than interested but you reach a point where you have to know what happens next. Then you can’t put it down or push pause. The progression this story takes is like climbing a mountain, once you get to the top it is breathtaking. There’s plenty of tension and mystery, wonder and perceived terror. And there is heart ache and super cool twists and turns. Yes there is violence and talk of horrible acts, including rape and murder. However, I absolutely recommend this story and will without a doubt continue with this series. The next book is Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2).

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While I can’t complain about the beginning enough, I also can’t tell you enough how much I like the ending. Great cliffhanger but also so grating! AH! Laini, you have a new fan. πŸ˜‰

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Hardcover edition (cover)

Have you read this? Are you planning to? Let me know if I introduced you to this book or tipped the scales for you, maybe even give me a nod on your own blog if that applies. Giving credit to my fellow bloggers, aka sources, when they’ve introduced me to a book or books is super important to me. I do my best to take notes when I add books thanks to them. In fact I have a unpublished post draft that is just for notes of this kind.

Thanks for your visit, please come again! Follow me if you like what you’ve read here and elsewhere because there’s plenty more to come. πŸ˜€

2020 Currently Reading

Okay here’s another new thing. Instead of having my TBR page (like I did in 2019) telling you what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I plan to read this year, I’m going to have this post “sticky”. Here, always found at the top of my blog, you’ll see what I’m currently reading and/or listening to and what I just read. If I know for sure I’ll tell you what’s next. There might also be some notes about how I’m feeling while reading/listening. Feel free to comment.

Recently Finished:

  • What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra – hardcover
    • I’ll have to get back to you on how I heard of this book because I’m certain I heard it from a blogger or podcaster. I went right ahead and bought a copy and I’m really happy I did. My jaunt into long, long books, audio and one paperback, has been great (I am still listening to The Name of the Wind, epic fantasy), has left me satisfied, dissatisfied and longing for a shorter more fast-paced story. And I found it here. I’m about 60 some odd pages in and really really enjoying it.
    • I like the little insert pages that seem to imitate copies of letters, notes, and articles. They add to the story and are unique. There’s a lot of mystery here both to the reader and the main character. I don’t see this being a disappointment. I’ll bet it’s a 4-5 star reader, not ready to commit to 5 yet. πŸ˜‰
    • And I finished it in just over a week (I think that’s good, at least for me). Yeah! I am going ahead with a 5-star rating. There’s not currently a sequel but from the sounds of it it’s not out of the question.
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  • Lady Midnight (Dark Artifices, #1) by Cassandra Clare – Paperback
    • This has been on my list since March of 2019. Ms. Victorious over at Victorious Pages is how I came across The Dark Artifices but I know I’ve also seen it elsewhere. I happened to see it for sale at Barnes & Noble, knew it was on my list and well I had to take a good deal. πŸ˜‰
    • I’m about halfway through. It’s interesting. Cassandra Clare is a talented writer however this isn’t really my speed. So much time is spent on the day to day of the characters it just feels too drawn out. In my opinion this book would not have suffered from being shaved down. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m reading this and listening to Strange, the Dreamer, both books that…are…d.r.a.g.g.i.n.g. Maybe I should put ellipses in between each of those letters…
    • Upon finishing: I will not be continuing this series at this time. There are some sample chapters at the end of the book for the next in this series, the first in the ShadowHunters series, and the first book about the characters Tessa & Jem. Of those samples I almost like the first in the whole series but for now I’m moving on.
    • I give this book a 3 because I do not like the pacing. There’s a lot of repetitive thinking going on in terms of character relationships. By this a mean, a lot of talking about how much one character cares for another though we already know this. This is a character driven book, even then I think it would be better served with a little bit more weight put on the overall plot, the thing that keeps it moving. The reason it doesn’t really feel like it moves enough for me.
  • The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons, Audible Audio edition narrated by Feodor Chin, Vikas Adam, Soneela Nankani
    • So I went back through my notes to see how I found this book. It does not appear I learned of it through any book bloggers. Honestly I don’t know how I found this book! I think she was on a podcast but I can’t find the one. It could have also been NPR but I don’t think so. Maybe it was a fellow blogger and I didn’t write it down…? Ugh…notes are great…
    • This is an epic fantasy, which means it’s a really big book. Which is also part of the reason I chose to listen to it: not a heavy book and much cheaper because I used the book “credit” I get from audible for the month. I’m in Chapter 26 and still have 19 hours to go. So if you need a big long story, here you go.
    • It is a long drawn out storytelling that’s for sure. But I don’t say drawn out in a bad way. It’s getting more and more interesting. I won’t be surprised if in the end I say it could have done without being this long but we’ll see. So far I like it, not super in love with it, but it’s cool. πŸ˜€
    • Upon finishing: What I said above came to be, I really liked this book. However, I don’t feel that it would necessarily be served by cutting it down. This is a journey and taking the journey makes for a complete story. Could some sections have been shorter and the story still great? Sure thing. But it’s still an excellent book. I’m giving it 4 stars. I do recommend it and I will continue with the series THAT I DIDN’T KNOW WAS A THING! πŸ™‚
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Some of What I’ve Read this Year

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor , narrated by Steve West- Audible audio book
    • [Here’s what I said before:] I’m in about Chapter 10 I think? So far I’m disappointed because this book is taking so long to be interesting. Lazlo, the main character (MC), really feels flat to me at this point. Given the number of roaring reviews I’ve discovered there to be (saw, didn’t read just glazed over a few) I have faith that this book improves but if I was given an ultimatum I’d be tempted to DNF this.
    • You know a book is taking too long to really grab you when you almost forget you’re actually supposed to be paying attention to what you’re listening to and you struggle to want to.
    • This book I found thanks to SilverWolfReads after her trip to NYC and her giant book haul. Please do visit her blog (click the link above) and read my review of this book. I most recently finished this book & after what I’ve said above you’ll be surprised to know I’m rating this 5/5 stars.

Currently Reading/Listening to:

  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss – Audible audio book, narrated by Nick Podehl
    • I won’t get into how this was an accidental purchase, because I do somewhere else. But here we have another epic fantasy. It reminds me a lot of Lord of the Rings. My patience for long long long stories is just not there. This is a good and interesting story, for sure, well-written and all that. But it’s really super long and probably, again I say this, wouldn’t be hurt if a lot of scenes were cut out or cut down.
    • All in all it’s no where near DNF, but when I think about how everyone complains that the third book in this series (this first book published in 2007!) has not yet even been ANNOUNCED, I get nervous. What if I love these first two and have to just sit empty handed? Okay maybe not empty-handed because I have so many books to read. Stay tuned…
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  • Thick: and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom – Hardcover
    • This find is thanks to the podcast Reading Women. Do check out my page about the podcasts I listen to, mostly about reading and/or writing. Those lovely women raved about this book. There have been others talking about it as well and then I saw it on display at a local bookstore. I said okay, let’s go, you’re coming with me. It’s been looking at me ever since and well, today I figured what the heck, they’re essays so I can read them as I please. So far, so good. I’m looking forward to seeing the life of a person so different than me through their lens.
  • Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee – paperback
    • I don’t typically read contemporary fiction but this sounded interesting to me in part because of the mental health aspect. One of the main characters, one of the sisters, has a mental illness. One hundred pages in I’m intrigued even if it’s not my usual fare. So I’ll be mulling this over with a different set of eyes.
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That’s what I’ve most recently read and am currently reading. I desperately need to finish Voyage of the Basilisk – The Memoirs of Lady Trent #3 by Marie Brennan (started, oh, forever ago last year). So I’m kind of also currently still reading that though admittedly I keep forgetting about it…hm…what does that say about this series that I’ve liked but…ugh…

We’re just getting into February but I don’t have any idea what’s going to come after I finish these. I’m predicting it could be another two weeks before I pick up a new book. I’m thinking I need to pick something awesome and intriguing and not a million pages long.

Thoughts?

Talk from the TBR Table

I feel like this is a really fun title that I’ll maybe use more than once. πŸ˜‰ For sure! How ya doin? Having a good week so far?

This post is inspired by Lois over at LoisReadsBooks. She made a post about books from her TBR that have been there a long time and that she plans to finally read this year. Heck yeah go Lois! Click the link above to visit her two-part post. πŸ˜€ Blogger love!

Her post got me thinking that it would be in my best interest to revisit my TBR and commit to read some books that have been on there a long time. Now this isn’t new in the world of book blogging at all. In fact Destiny @Howling Libraries does something to this effect with a fancy methodology and all. She calls it TBR Lows & Highs. Sofi @A Book. A Thought loved what Destiny was doing so much she’s also taken up that method for cleaning the TBR. I quite like it really, you ought to check it out, but I think for now I’m gonna keep the cleaning simple. Over at Life Inside My Library Mind she put together a 2019 TBR Backlist, a simple list of 12 books from her backlist that she’s been meaning to read. There are others I follow who work through their backlists or try, and who wouldn’t want to? (Um all of us distracted by all the new shiny stuff…duh.)

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At the end of the day, I liked Lois’ version straight to the point, pick some books, let’s tackle these. However I am still going to be cognizant of my acceptance that I do not read very fast or as often during the warmer months (we’ll see this year!). So I will resist the urge to make a super long post about the books from long ago TBR that I’m going to read. Alas….I behave…

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This is a really great reason (excuse) to browse my TBR and just look at all the beautiful books I have imagined reading. I look forward to the process although not really the decision making. Why’s that? Oh decisions and I have a love/hate relationship and I plan to keep the list under five. What? I already said I am not a fast reader. Even though audio books mean I will certainly hear a book a month there’s only so much money I can spend on books. I know, it’s rough. πŸ˜‰

Here we go. Afer meeting my brain mates (all me) at the TBR boardroom table I’ve decided on these five books. These are books I added a long time ago and will read some time this year. I’ll tell you the book, when I added it, why (if I know or recall), and why I’m choosing it now. Oh and click on the title to visit the book’s Goodreads page. (In no particular order)

1. The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan

Published in 2010 – Poetry

I added it September 2012

Kay Ryan’s poetry appeals to me because she packs a punch with few words. I was so impressed with her talent in brevity, I think it’s admirable skill.

It’s been a long time since I’ve even read poetry and this is a great place to start. That’s why I’m going to pick this up this year and read it, preferably sooner than later.

2. Borderline (Anna Pigeon, #15) by Nevada Barr

Published in 2009 – Mystery

I added it in March 2013

I used to read Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series as much as I could years ago then I stopped reading fiction for about five years. When I got back to reading Anna & Nevada were much farther down the road and I never got back on the horse.

Disclaimer: I might wind up with a different book in this series once I really figure out where I left off but this was what I had on my TBR so we’ll start there for now. I would like to check back in with this mystery/thriller because I remember really enjoying it although they did tend to take a while to get into.

3. Bear Heart (Klawdia Book 1) by K.J. Colt

Published in 2013 – Fantasy

I added it in October 2014

I “met” (online) K.J. Colt through a Goodread’s group that was created to help self-published authors. It served the dual purpose of weeding out self-pubs that needed more work because, especially back then, self-pubs had a real bad rep among readers. So we shared out self-published works with each other by judging our covers, our blurbs and finally the books should they make it to that stage. It was a lot of fun but stirred up a load of controversy. Apparently the group’s founder received death threats and all kinds of nasty negative attention because of the group. On top of that countless people whined and cried about the constructive criticism they received and how their books weren’t chosen. I would expect you have some kind of thick (or thicker) skin if you’re going to be an artist and put your work out in the world but way too many people couldn’t handle being told they weren’t the brightest star in the class. For instance, someone was told they really needed to hire an editor. They got extremely emotional and cried that it wasn’t fair because they couldn’t afford an editor. Okay well then your book is going to have to wait. Stuff like that… anywho…

So K.J. Colt – who wasn’t yet a bestselling author, you go girl! – was one of the members of that group with her book Concealed Power (The Healers of Meligna, #1). I really did enjoy the series, well mostly Books 1 & 2 then things went a little downhill for my tastes and tolerances. I became quite critical of the last couple. That said I still really admire K.J. Colt for her talent and creativity. She invited me all those years ago to read Bear Heart and I never did (meant to I swear!). Klawdia is a kick-ass secondary female character in the Healers of Meligna series. This is her series and I really would like to venture in to it.

4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Published in 2015 -Fantasy

I added it in April 2016

Well I maybe…nope I don’t remember how I first heard of this and her (the author), maybe from a podcast, maybe a fellow blogger, I don’t recall but I know loads of people are and have been talking about V.E. Schwab.

This year I’m going to finally read it because last year I got a sweet deal from bookoutlet.com on the whole trilogy. And well I need to get caught up on this woman’s work!

5. Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Published in 2016 – Historical fiction

I added in August 2016

You might already know that I love birds, they are my favorite class of organism. It should be more obvious than ironic then that I should also love plants. And whomever loves plants, fancies trees. I can’t say for sure but I may have found this through a Lithub.com article.

Going back through my TBR this book stuck out. Sure it isn’t fantasy but it sounds interesting regardless. I remember it sticking out to me back then, so let’s go ahead and venture there.

6. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

Published in 2014 – Non-fiction/memoir

I added in August 2016

Well given the title and the cover image I think it should be obvious, I picked this book because it has something to do with birds. And the overall story – also in part about her training birds of prey – sounds intriguing. I don’t recall how I came across this book in the first place but when I did, done deal.

I know I said five books, I was only going to pick five, but this was right below Barkskins on my TBR list and I happen to own a physical copy of this already (thanks bookdepot.com) so why not? My thoughts exactly.

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There you have it. Six books from way down my TBR list on Goodreads that I plan to read this year. When and how, physical or audio, is yet to be determined (except those already owned physically, lol).

It almost feels hard to pick these to read when there are so many NEW books I’m discovering and adding. It’s like all these old ones lost their appeal because they’re not new to me anymore. How strange, they’re still a mystery to me! These are the only books I can tell you I’m going to read over the course of the year. Otherwise I’m not going to do seasonal TBRs anymore, just monthly, and those are going to be two books, a physical and an audio book. I know I can handle that. Any extras are bonus. Okay this is long enough. Stay tuned to see where I go… That’s it for Talk from the TBR Table!

Thanks so much for your time? Have you read any of these or want to? Are you doing any kind of backlist “work” or cleaning?

2019 TBR List New Additions Part 3

At first this list was going to include November and December additions. But then I saw just how many books I added in December. That month alone made up for all I didn’t add in the months before. Funny I say that as though I should be adding TONS and TONS of books all the time. That would be overwhelming. So 2019 TBR List New Additions Part 3 covers one month and you will agree it’s more than plenty.

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A lot of the books I found and added in December were thanks to The Bookseller’s Year in Reading from LitHub.com. In fact, I think all the books added in December were thanks to at least a couple of Lithub.com articles. That said here I’ve linked you to Part 3 of the above list so you can then find the links to Part 1 & 2. As I write this I’ve only read Part 1. Books I add from the other parts will be new additions for January.

I don’t recall all my sources for the rest of the books I added/found in December but if I do I will tell you. The titles of each book link back to its Goodreads’ page. If you’d like to first read my New Additions Part 1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to then or first read New Additions Part 2 CLICK HERE. I encourage you to check them out and share your thoughts should you have any.

Let’s get started with my final 2019 TBR List New Additions.

December 2019 TBR List New Additions

  • The Overstory – Fiction by Richard Powers – this and above from article not list
  • The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry – non-fiction/essays by Wendell Berry – I found this on the Bookseller’s list however I heard of Wendell Berry in the spring from my great Uncle. I had every intention to look into this author thanks to him.
  • Underland – Non-fiction/science by Robert Macfarlane – This book was recommended by multiple booksellers.
  • Lanny – fiction/fantasy by Max Porter – I found this on the bookseller’s list however I first found it in another Lit Hub article months ago.
  • Lent – fantasy/historical fiction by Jo Walton
  • Birthday – fiction by Cesar Aira, translated by Chris Andrews
  • Morelia – fiction by Renee Gladman

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So there you have it, the last of the books I added to my TBR in 2019, in fact many were on the second to last day. Many of these books, more than I expected and would/will probably choose, are non-fiction. It’s not that I’m too cool or not cool enough for non-fiction it’s just that usually I have some go-to topics when it comes to real life stuff, but we’ll see. We’ll see what 2020 brings us. I was going to write about, very vaguely, what interested me in each book but that would take way too long. If I pick them up this year and read, perhaps that’ll be when I tell you what appealed to me, well at least I’ll try to remember or I’ll make up something about why it does now! πŸ˜‰

Any of these books on your radar/TBR?

Thanks as always for visiting. Come back soon!

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2019 TBR List New Additions Part 2

*** Quick funny side note: I scheduled this to publish on New Year’s day but then it disappeared! I couldn’t find it in my list of published or ALL posts. Then again, I didn’t go to the last page of the list… today I figured it out. It was scheduled to post 1 January 2019. Lol, oh silly me. Today I figured it out, must be my renewed yoga practice cleared my head this morning. So I did finish a while ago and have wanted to find it before I publish Part 3. And that’s why you’re also getting 2 posts kinda back to back.

Welcome to Part 2 of the 2019 TBR List New Additions. If you missed the first post click HERE for Part 1. I didn’t add any books to my TBR in October. Can you believe that? Ugh I wasn’t in the bookish world but that’s fine because I was in the writing world gearing up for NaNoWriMo 2019 which I did win. Woo Hoo Heck Yeah! πŸ˜€

July 2019 TBR List New Additions

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  • What the Woods Keep – Paranormal Fantasy/YA/Mystery by Katya de Becerra – I already have my copy of this, hopefully I’ll get to it sooner than later. Sorry I don’t recall which podcast I was listening to when I heard about this. But check my list if you’re looking for some book and writing related podcasts.
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August 2019 TBR List New Additions

September 2019 TBR List New Additions

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Oh my I did not add any books in October! It wasn’t because there wasn’t anything to add rather I have not been reading blogs for a long time nor articles about books. I’ve been more focused on my own writing. It can be tricky to juggle reading and writing though both are very important.

November 2019 TBR List New Additions

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  • The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy, #1) – Sci-fi by M.R. Carey – I’m not entirely sure where I found this book but I know I added it in part because I am at least a little familiar with Carey’s work. I’ve seen a movie and read a book and was plenty happen with what I experienced. Looking forward to this one.
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This concludes 2019 TBR List New Additions Part 2. If you missed Part 1 CLICK HERE and check it out. That list covers half of May through June. Part 3 is all about December because that’s when I got back to my TBR as well as a list I found at Lit Hub. That list, whoa, I hope what I found there is worth all the work it added to my list!

Stay tuned for Part 3. It will be published in the first couple of days of the New Year. From there you can expect a post about what I plan to read in January and Part 2 of my thoughts on Audio books. Check out Part 1 HERE.

So, what do you think?

What I’ve Been Listening To

Hey there folks! Recently, and not so recently, I’ve posted about audio books (Audio Book Talk Part 1 & Part 2). I blabbered a bit about the conundrum of reading versus listening. It’s a big issue for me! Lol. I think I’ve made that clear. What I haven’t made clear to you is just what…hm….um… not what I’ve read… okay… what my ear’s have attended to! This post is for the stories I’ve listened to.

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In Part 1 I told you how Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan was the first audio book I’ve listened to in a long time. And I really enjoyed it. Next I told you I listened to Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, yet another good book. After that came The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon; not bad but I didn’t love it for a couple reasons. Or maybe The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater came before that? Before or after, that one I really liked, best of them all. Since then? Let me tell you…

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Or read…

After The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, I listened to The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Will Patton.

This is the second time I’ve edited this because I don’t have a sweet memory so I’ve had to do some rewinding considering I listened to this way back in the summer. Of course I remember I enjoyed this series thoroughly and recommend it to most if not all fans of fantasy, particularly YA fantasy. However, book 2 wasn’t my favorite. It’s not that it was bad, it was just a little convoluted and not quite as flowing as the first. But I still liked it and was happy to get to know these characters more. Maggie Steifvater is a very talented writer. Her imagination and character development are beautiful.

Next was Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Will Patton.

Book three didn’t disappoint, in fact I liked it more than book 2, maybe not more than book 1 but very entertaining. Still loving these characters and their growth.

From there I listened to Wally Roux, Quantum Mechanic by Nick Carr, narrated by William Jackson Harper.

This, as the image shows, is an audible original, one of two picks I get each month with my subscription. I’d call this a short story more than a novel and it was worth it. More a book for teens but still interesting enough. I liked the character Wally and his story and would recommend this. It’s not exciting, but good.

After Wally Roux I started and finished the last book in The Raven Cycle, The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4) by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Will Patton.

So my mental rewind back through this summer and fall’s audio books brought me to some bittersweet truthes regarding the end of this series. It wasn’t just my memory that made reflecting difficult. This book didn’t sew up nicely. It didn’t end so neatly. I’m not necessarily disappointed but I’m disappointed. Not enough to ditch Maggie Stiefvater, oh no, or not read the Ronan Lynch spin-off that follows, Call Down the Hawk. Just enough to be bummed. But I won’t spoil here.

What I listened to next was very, very different than the above (and not as good). Cold Waters (Normal, Alabama #1) by Debbie Herbert was a book I picked up through one of Audible’s Daily Deals. What can I say, I needed another book to listen to!

But I didn’t love it. I’ll take some more Stiefvater after this one please! Sure it did its thing in the world of mysteries but I wasn’t impressed. I think I gave it 3 stars for effort. I won’t continue with the series.

After that I listened to an Audible Original, another of my monthly freebies. Buried Deep by Margot Hunt and read by Therese Plummer is also a mystery.

Please understand that I am a fan of mysteries, I always have been. But I’m also really critical. Sorry, not sorry. Cold Waters was significantly better than Buried Deep. Buried Deep is not a story I recommend.

Okay now let’s get back to some better stories although…

My next read was much anticipated. Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton is a stand alone continuation of Ronan Lynch’s story. It is true however that it’s probably best to have read The Raven Cycle first.

Gosh I feel some kind of way about this book and about writing about it. I should probably save it for something of a review but I’m sort of doing tiny reviews here too. Let me say again that I really appreciate Stiefvater’s talents. But please please stop throwing the kitchen sink in. I mean okay maybe the kitchen sink analogy isn’t accurate but one review I read after the fact explained it best. It was like being in someone else’s dream where it makes more sense to them than you. Loads of people love this book but I just think it was a little too much dream world. I think it hurt the story. That said, oh there’s so much more to say I’m going to have to write a separate post for sure, I did like this story. I do like this world and love these characters. Worth it? For sure. Hoping the next book will be excellent.

Thank you Ellyn @allonsythornraxx for talking about this book. And thank you Inside My Library Mind as well!

Okay moving on. Another mystery/thriller thanks to Audible Daily Deals. But am I so thankful for Audible? Or am I losing my taste for mysteries after spending all this time in fantasy lands? The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger, read by Julia Whelan was creative and interesting. But it was too long, way too long.

I’m a little surprised seeing the Goodreads’ page again and the fact that Unger is a bestselling author. It’s not that she’s a bad writer by any means. The Red Hunter however could have skipped a lot of the individual parts. But again, it was entertaining and had its thrilling moments but didn’t blow my mind.

Wow so this brings us to my latest listen and what I’m currently listening to! Last one I finished was The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy. Here we have another YA Fantasy.

I will lead with this was a worthy listen and I will continue the series. That said, it was way too long. It was like a compilation of a bunch of different character stories that all happen to related. It just took too long to get to the part where they’re relating! On the other hand Libba Bray is a great writer. I respect the research she does for her stories, from time period lingo and culture to historic events, she does an excellent job. I think a lot of people would like this story, as long as you don’t mind a long lead up.

This series find is thanks to Ellyn @allonsythornraxx and her post about the 4th in this series due out this year. Oh my gosh I better catch up! Four of these! Gosh…

And finally we’re up to present day. Actually I very recently finished The Diviners. Therefore I’ve only just begun Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse, read by Tanis Parenteau.

Lucky me, this and The Diviners were not Daily Deals but they were special deals just in time for me to need more books in my Audible Library! Woo hoo! Everybody loves a sale right? πŸ˜€ I have heard the name Rebecca Roanhorse a lot and am finally venturing into her imagination. So far I’m digging it! Heck yeah!

Oh yeah, while it’s not an audio book I’m also read reading, like a physical book, Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) by Cassandra Clare (ha ha I started to type narrated. πŸ˜‰ ). Yet another name I’ve heard a number of times. This is a big book, 668 pages! I’m 174 or so pages in and it’s interesting, not as interesting as Trail of Lightning but I suspect it holds a lot of promise. And I learned kind of late that I’m pretty late to this party… Lol…

I almost forgot; while I know I’ve heard of this elsewhere I know for sure I can thank Ms. Victorious at Victorious pages for telling me about this series.

Kind of a long post I know but hopefully you found it interesting enough. Have you read or listened to any of these? I do kind of feel like I missed out on some real physical pages with words. (I think I need to read some Maggie Stiefvater in the flesh or paper and experience the stories more.)

Let me know what you think, I’m curious. Stay tuned for my post about what I will be listening to for the rest of January and February.

TBR List New Additions Part 1

Hey there! This TBR List New Additions Part 1 is a part one because I haven’t done such a post since MAY. Wow, May. I have added way too many books to share them all in one post. I’m not sure if everyone loves posts about new additions to TBR lists but it’s kind of a fun way to nerd out, discover new books, and give props to other bloggers, writers, podcasters, nerds alike. πŸ˜€ Browse the pics for some covers that appeal to you. Follow the link to the book’s Goodreads’ page, read the blurb. Add to your list. And maybe then if you have your own blog, or what-have-you, give me a shout out for bringing the book to you attention. Teamwork makes the dream work! I love to chat so feel free to ask questions or share some of your own thoughts about my new additions.

My last 2019 TBR Updates post was back in May, May 13th to be exact. So this list will start from the books I added May 14th. If I’ve got someone to thank for it I will, or some specific thoughts as to why I added it, I’ll tell you. This post will cover a couple months (don’t think I added books every month) so this will be a three part post. Let’s get started.

May 14-31st 2019 TBR List New additions

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  • The Deepest Blue – Fantasy by Sarah Beth Durst – While I didn’t love this book I am a fan of Sarah Beth Durst so naturally I had to pick this up.
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June 2019 TBR List New Additions

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  • What Rose Forgot – Mystery/Thriller by Nevada Barr – Years ago I read Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series as fast as I could. Then I slowed down on reading fiction and I never caught back up with her books. I’m happy to know she’s kept on writing and this appealed to me.
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There you have it, my 2019 TBR new additions for the second half of May & all of June. I think there may be a duplicate or two in there but for the sake of time I’m going to let them stay. This is the list my Goodreads’ TBR showed me so I’m going with it. Of these I read “The Deepest Blue” by Sarah Beth Durst and wrote about it. And I’m currently listening to “Call Down the Hawk” (audio book) by Maggie Stiefvater. I will finish it today, just in time to end the year. Don’t forget to stay tuned and read Parts 2 & 3 of my 2019 TBR List New additions.

Have you or do you plan to read any of these? I read reviews but not always before I read a book because often once I’ve made up my mind to read a book I don’t want to know too much more about it. And often people include story synopses in their reviews. So you’re welcome to share your links with me, I will check them out after I’ve read the book. Please do share your most basic thoughts, spoiler free, here. You just might get me to push the book up my list. πŸ˜‰

Happy New Year to you all! I’m really looking forward to the writing and reading that’s about to happen. Stay tuned, perhaps this year…perhaps…this year…

My Review of The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3) by Deborah Harkness

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Info from Goodreads:

The #1 New York Times bestselling series finale and sequel to A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night

Fans of the All Souls Trilogy sent this highly anticipated finale straight to #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. Bringing the series’ magic and suspense to a deeply satisfying conclusion, The Book of Life is poised to become an even bigger phenomenon in paperback.

Diana and Matthew time-travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the presentβ€”facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the beloved cast of characters from A Discovery of Witchesβ€”with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.

Paperback, 561 pages – Published May 26th 2015 by Penguin Books (first published July 1st 2014)

My Review

4-4.5/5 stars (depending on the day)

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Trigger warnings: violence, mention and talk of rape(s)

Sorry it has taken me SO LONG to get this posted but I did it. Lol. Hopefully before the month is up I can get you a post regarding my thoughts on the TV adaptation of this series. Let me just say I’m not happy, although it was still interesting…mostly…sort of…*sigh*

I was all set to give this book 5 stars but I’ve been re-thinking it. The Goodreads’ rating system is what I refer to when I’m thinking simply about how I feel.

  • One star – did not like it
  • Two stars – it was okay
  • Three stars – liked it
  • Four stars – really liked it
  • Five stars – it was amazing

Four stars for sure as I really liked it but I got stuck thinking how I loved this book but I don’t know if it necessarily is amazing. Ugh… and yet I think the series as a whole is pretty amazing.

While I disagree with a lot of other reviewers I do agree that this book has a lot of flaws. I’ll be more transparent here. Okay, I was set on five stars right and then I read several other reviews with two stars that made some pretty valid points in terms of unanswered questions. Then I felt kind of embarrassed that I still liked this book so much when Deborah Harkness and her editor(s) really missed some key points, or didn’t care to include them. That said I think it says a lot about the book that even without those answers – some of them key plot points – I was wholly satisfied with the ending. And yet, even as I think about these complaints I recall that I’m very sad to see this trilogy come to an end as I will miss the characters.

via GIPHY

Unlike the bad reviews I didn’t mind the large amount of characters, especially those brought back from the other books. Sure there was a lot to keep up with but I think Harkness did it well. For the most part I found the majority of the characters, especially all the “important” ones, to be distinct. There are some very satisfying character reveals. As far as characters are concerned, five stars all day!

She does change POV from chapter to chapter and it is a little strange at times. I can’t say I loved it, this being one of the complaints from the bad reviews. For me these changes were like that little bump in the sidewalk that you don’t catch when you’re strolling along having a lovely time and then OPE, you trip but catch yourself and turn around like WHAT THE HECK! Huh, what a nice little rush of adrenaline. And you walk on, BUT you DON’T fall and wreck your day. These POV changes tripped me up a second but the bulk of the story kept me moving along swiftly.

Maybe half way through the book I felt like I did after a couple seasons of the TV show True Blood. (I did not read the books by the way.) It got weird and not in a cool way. It was like they were trying too hard to make things extra different. I started to worry about this happening in The Book of Life. If you’ve gotten this far in the series you already know Diana is an incredible witch with all the powers a witch can have. Sure that’s a trope that bothers some from the get go, not me, and it might bother even more people as her power grows and grows. But let’s be honest, that’s what this story is about. This story is about that extraordinary moment in time when everything changes. A time when two powerful people discover each other and more about themselves. In my humble opinion, tropes are a problem when the story and characters are lacking, perhaps that’s why the bad reviews exist, because for those people it was lacking. I disagree; I think the story itself carried its weight. The content woven in and out, the character arcs and the constant discoveries, however great or small, worked for me.

via GIPHY

All in all I can’t make a decision, some days it’s 4 stars, others it’s 4.5. Either way I was satisfied. My great aunt has finished book two at this point and she’s on to book three so we’ll see what she thinks about this finale.

As I mentioned there is a TV adaptation of this series on AMC (pretty sure). It’s over now but of course you can find it on demand on Sundance or AMC (depends on your subscriptions of course). They are planning a second season, and I will watch it no matter how frustrated the first one made me.

via GIPHY

In other news Deborah Harkness published her latest book (and I do believe the first since The Book of Life) Time’s Convert (All Souls Universe, #1) in September 2018. I think it’s fair to say it’s a paranormal fantasy romance that follows the history of Marcus – Matthew’s vampire son – up to the present. I’m not sure yet how I feel about reading this but I’ve signed up for a giveaway so if I win then of course I’ll be reading it. We’ll see.

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Thanks for reading everyone. Please let me know what you think about this series if you’ve read it or maybe you want to? If I’ve introduced you to the series please do give me a shout out. See you next time!